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By: Josh Weinstein
The Toronto Raptors prepare to face a familiar foe that they've already faced twice this season in the Washington Wizards. Through two games, the season series between the Raptors and Wizards is tied at one game apiece. And just like the previous two meetings, John Wall will be out of action for Washington. The Raps number one priority must be containing Bradley Beal; the all-star guard has averaged 32.5 points in two games against Toronto this season.
C.J. Miles surprisingly appeared on the injury report last time out against the Timberwolves, so expect him to be a game-time decision for tonight's tilt. Last time the Raps battled the Wiz, it was DeMar DeRozan's 33 points that led them to victory. This meeting, though, I would not be surprised to see Jonas Valanciunas continue his strong play into the month of February. The Lithuanian finished January with averages of 13.1 points and 9.9 rebounds.
Since John Wall was ruled out for the next six to eight weeks, the Washington Wizards have played admirably without their star point guard. The Wiz have won two straight, including an impressive 102-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sure, Russell Westbrook struggled with his shot, but this was still a Thunder team that entered the contest riding a lengthy six-game winning streak.
Without Wall, it's clear this Wizards team has a limited ceiling, but that doesn't mean they should be taken lightly. With Beal and Otto Porter Jr. serving as the team's main offensive options, Washington still has plenty of weapons that can light you up offensively on any given night.
Watchability Ranking: 6/10
The Raptors once again face an undermanned Wizards team, which takes away from the appeal of watching this game. Normally, you could bill this game as two of the game's star back-courts going at it, but with one piece of the puzzle on the sidelines that is no longer the case.
Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM ET. Here are the projected starting lineups: